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Mark McIlrath
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If you're an artist, what kind of art do you make?
I am...
a film script editor (exiled).

humanist (defrocked)

child of Ilya Ivanov

Let me quote another script editor if you're in the market for someone to 'consult' on your story:

‘The world abounds with superfluous things. Why add to it?...There’s no point adding more muddle to the muddle...It’s better to destroy than create, when one fails to create but the bare essentials. Besides, is there anything so clear and right that it’s entitled to exist?...We’re stifled by words, images, sounds that have no reason to exist, that come from nowhere and are going nowhere...We critics do what we can. Our mission is to sweep away the countless abortions that try obscenely to come into the world. And you’d like to leave behind you a whole film, no less, like the lame man leaves his deformed footprint? What monstrous presumption to think that others would benefit from your squalid catalogue of mistakes.'
Carini in 8½

Add to that Friedrich Dürrenmatt:
‘..Art is an expression of freedom. Art is something personal, and what is personal can never be explained in generalities. The artist has no need of scholarship. Scholarship derives laws from what exists already; otherwise it would not be scholarship. But the laws thus established have no value for the artist, even when they are true. The artist cannot accept a law he has not discovered for himself. It is the dramatist’s activity to make drama into something objective, but he destroys the object he has created again and again, forgets it, rejects it, scorns it, re-evaluates it, all in order to make room for something new. Scholarship sees only the result; the process, which led to this result is what the dramatist cannot forget. One has to beware of those who merely assert and proclaim laws that do not exist. Aristotle’s unities do not make Greek tragedy possible; Greek tragedy allows his unities.’

So why do you want a script editor? Are you sure you know?

If you don't want to stretch yourself - if you want someone who is going to Frank Daniel or Truby you then try someone else - then neither of us need be bored.

No to silly recipes or formulas. No to flattery. No to shake downs. An opinion on your story. A discussion. Hopefully an exploration.

Twenty years of reading feature scripts - with an aversion to cliches, lazy tropes, gratuitous self-expression, and telegraphed plot lines. Don't come to me if you have rehashed something not very good the 1st, 2nd & 50th time.

For producers who want a script editor.

For writers who have funding + a producer to pay their bill (ie you are not paying out of your own pocket).

Face to face in Ireland, Berlin, Venice or Paris.
On skype.

Enthusiastic to collaborate with anyone writing documentaries, for puppets, animation, for theatre. Happy to co-write, adapt, or ghost write.

I work as a tutor with groups of writers.


venice film

'In my opinion the drama of today is in a rut and full of prejudices and conventions...When I watch these great & talented people, these high priests of a sacred art, depicting the way people eat, drink, make love...when I hear them trying to squeeze a moral out of the tritest words and emptiest scenes, when I am presented with a thousand variations on the same old thing, the same thing again & again - well, I just have to escape, I run away'.

Why should anyone be interested in listening to you - unless you can make what you have to say interesting both in what you say and how you say it?  Why should I want to spend time with your characters - in your story?

The function of dramatic structure is to orchestrate the audience's emotional experience of your story.  This is what you have to control and master.


'Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play the fool no where but in's own house'.

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Mark McIlrath's Blog

Hirst in Venice

Hirst has gone. The mega-exhibition. The greatest hits of the Ancient and the pre-modern worlds. Almost like he'd got a researcher to buy the book and decided to copy them. In Venice, sponsored by billionaire kitsch-addict Francois Pinault.

Venice. Culture deracinated from the power + fear of its roots, its rituals, its crimes + punishments. Disneyfied. Emptied of its original meaning - of all meaning, save that of a selling the the corpse as a commodity.

Mayan. Greek. Roman.…


Posted on December 19, 2017 at 16:08

Decisions Decisions.

Posted on June 17, 2017 at 17:29

Beau Laid


If drama is no more than character revelation through the force of a pressing/ unavoidable plot - then sequencing (SQ) must surely be focused on the conflicts, contradictions and consequences of the character, each SQ revealing his/ her changing view of herself?  The self-revelation, often painful, that she is - or is…


Posted on February 11, 2017 at 17:17

The Sincerity of Fools

Careers' Advice for Screenwriters:

The only way you'll find yourself working in a bank will be with a balaclava on.  The only way you'll make money writing is with ransom notes.

The Optimist's Guide to Screenplay…


Posted on January 22, 2017 at 17:30

Une oasis d'horreur dans un désert d'ennui

Give a Fool a Cross + he'll Mistake Himself for a Messiah.

Script Editor/ Screenwriter seeking salvation.

So you've read Vogler.  Then Campbell.  Then Fuch's The Death of…


Posted on January 11, 2017 at 15:30

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At 16:50 on January 9, 2013, MOUROT Marie-Jeanne said…

No, I did not know Paula Rego, thank you for this great discovery. I salvation of France.

At 15:59 on December 28, 2012, MOUROT Marie-Jeanne said…

Welcome Mark !!



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